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News posted on Thursday, 16 March 2017

Full 2017-18 opening water allocation
Improved Murray-Darling Basin storages and strong inflows has seen South Australian Murray irrigators receive 100 per cent opening water allocation for the upcoming water year. The announcement of full entitlement for 2017-18 is a far cry from just last year, when the opening allocation for irrigators sat at 36 per cent of water entitlement.

Export insights: Germany and The Netherlands
As excitement builds for ProWein Düsseldorf, which starts on 19 March, Wine Australia's Market Bulletin takes a look at the German and Dutch markets, which are two of Australia’s most important European export markets.

Export package to stimulate regional growth
The first of a series of statewide consultation meetings was held this week, to discuss the options for the Federal Government’s $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support package.Tony Battaglene, Chief Executive of WFA says he is confident the package will benefit the whole sector. "This support package will complement AGWA’s export and market promotion activities; the WET Rebate Reforms announced in the 2016 Budget; and the $10 million cellar door and regional tourism grant that comes in in 2018-19."

Vintage 2017: Grapes with a taste for the heat
The Chalmers family kicked off their wine grape harvest just over three weeks ago and so far, the vintage is looking to be a promising one. Tennielle Chalmers, who farms alongside her parents, sister and brother-in-law at Merbein, said a cooler spring had resulted in slower ripening. “The fiano grape is the variety we have picked the most of so far this vintage,” Chalmers said.

Central Otago vineyard wants a village in the vines
Central Otago is the country's most scenic wine region, with the Cromwell basin home to the majority of its vines. But, tourism growth is putting the squeeze on and developers are looking for innovative ways to satisfy the demand for accommodation. The Wooing Tree Vineyard owners want to shake things up.

Vineyard workers say they were underpaid
Ni-Vanuatu workers on the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme have taken their pay rate concerns to the Labour Inspectorate and Immigration New Zealand. Pacific Island vineyard workers thought coming to New Zealand would be a blessing, but after a season of low pay and broken promises they don't think they will be back.

Should growers make bulk wine?
Much attention has been paid recently to wine producers acquiring vineyards to secure affordable, quality supply as grape prices rise. Less discussion has focused on growers who see this rise in profits as a way to invest in themselves by diversifying into wine production. This perennial question, “To crush or not to crush?” and its sister question, “Bulk or branded?” are often answered with an intuitive decision.

New Bill to make British embassies serve English wine
A proposed law to force British embassies around the world to buy and serve English and Welsh wines instead of Champagne, Prosecco and Cava is being introduced in the UK Parliament. Britain’s Diplomatic Service should do more to support English wine – and Welsh wines – at official functions overseas, according to Nusrat Ghani MP. Her Sussex constituency includes several English wine producers.

50% of Indian consumers order wines exclusively by glass
Often cited as an important emerging market for wine, India's immense and evolving consumer population presents a number of opportunities. Although traditionally and even today, whisky and rum continue to dominate alcohol consumption in India, the increasing availability of locally-produced and imported wine has spawned significant interest in wine.

Sandy grave helps wine keeps its freshness
A dozen barrels of wine have been buried deep in sands beside the Atlantic on the Landes coast as winemakers return to a traditional method of maturation that helps keep the wine fresh and fruity. The wines, from Tursan in Landes, will be stored in the natural underground cellar at a constant 15C and lifted and bottled after six months.

Duke’s sets new Riesling mark
John Vickery’s Leo Buring Rieslings were the greatest in this country between the 1950s and the 1970s. Brian Croser’s Petaluma Rieslings then set the quality standard until Jeffery Grosset led Australia to a more pure, longer and more international style in the 1990s. Is the baton about to be handed on once more?

NT Chief Minister supports volumetric alcohol tax
Chief Minister Michael Gunner has attempted to ease public concern over possible alcohol price increases, saying his government does not support a floor price but would possibly look at it as part of their policy review. It comes as Dan Murphy’s said it was willing to ban certain cheap products in the Territory and enact minimum pricing on wine products to prevent alcohol abusers from obtaining cheap booze.

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WID 2017